Proceedings of the First International Snakehead Symposium

Socrates Opens a Pandora’s Box of Northern Snakehead Issues

Donald J. Orth

doi: https://doi.org/10.47886/9781934874585.ch15

Abstract.—Although the origin, distribution, abundance, and spread of the Northern Snakehead Channa argus in the Potomac River have been studied, management and control plans for other invasive species are increasingly contested in social arenas where stakeholder values differ. Yet few investigations focus on social or ethical dimensions of the Northern Snakehead. Management actions for Northern Snakehead are currently limited to regulating possession, educating anglers, and encouraging harvest. In this paper, I examine ethical questions to guide future decisions and argue for ethical pragmatism and participatory management, which recognize stakeholder values, aim to reduce defensiveness, increases listening, and consciously cultivates a ground of mutual respect and trust among stakeholders, scientists, and managers.